President Obama's First Facebook Post Is A Fitting Reminder Of The One Issue We Can't Overlook
President Barack Obama made a personal Facebook account Monday as part of his administration's push for a stronger social media presence. But Obama didn't waste time posting funny photos or dad jokes. Instead, Obama posted a video about climate change, where he talks about the global need to reduce carbon emissions. In the video, he said that he'll be heading to Paris in December to talk about climate change with world leaders. At the same event in December, the World Bank will present its findings from two reports that were released today. Obama's call and the World Banks findings coincidentally coming out on the same day should be a call to action to people who are on the fence about climate change, and it should convince the country to quiet climate change deniers once and for all.
The two new climate change reports from the World Bank have found that there could be real, physical effects on those in poverty and those living on the coasts if efforts aren't made to reduce carbon emissions like Obama hopes to do, according to CNN. Specifically, the new reports found that rising sea levels linked to skyrocketing carbon emissions could force 100 million people into extreme poverty by 2030 and could flood and submerge the homes of more than half a billion people, according to the reports.
To put that into perspective, the World Bank defines extreme poverty as living at or below an income of $1.90 per day, according to Quartz. The poorest people in the world are often more vulnerable to extreme weather (like typhoons), rises in food prices because of global warming, and diseases that have environmental ties. These are all ideas that the World Bank will be presenting at the United Nations' 21st annual global conference on climate change, which is better known as COP21, according to CNN.
Obama will probably address these kinds of facts at COP21, but he made a more emotional — though equally important — appeal in his first Facebook video. In the video, Obama walks around his "backyard" at the White House, which is also a national park. He said he enjoys the "critters," like a fox that lives on the grounds and a hawk named Lincoln. But he said he also spends a lot of time thinking about how his backyard national park and national parks across the country "are going to be there for Malia, Sasha, their kids, their grandkids for generations to come," according to the video:
I want to make sure that the whole world is able to pass onto future generations the God-given beauty of this planet. So we're gonna need you to help us on this. You've gotta get engaged about why climate change is so important, because if all of America is joining around this critical project, then we can have confidence that we're doing right by future generations and passing onto our kids all the blessings that we've received.
Obama's video and the World Bank reports come together to give two solid ethical and economic reasons for why people around the world should support any legislation that will help reduce carbon emissions or preserve the planet. Obama talked about future generations being able to enjoy the planet, but the World Bank reports show that climate change will have effects in the next 15 years. The World Bank reports should show that, for many people, the effects of climate change are already being felt. Obama's video explains that we often think about climate change in terms of what will happen to future generations, but the reality is that climate change is happening to generations now — it's not waiting around for people to finally believe in the science behind it.